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Addicted to (Pretty)Porn: One Woman's Story

Posted: 12/03/08 02:44 PM ET

I have a problem: I can't stop looking at porn. I can look at it for hours and I'm not satisfied. Worse, I think it's giving me unrealistic expectations. I don't even really remember how it got started.

No, that's a lie, and the first step to recovery is to be honest with yourself. If I'm being honest, it started when I was looking for new curtains, which then lead to looking at rug possibilities. Suddenly I needed to pick out a new paint color for my bedroom, and pretty soon I was waking up in the middle of the night feeling as though that I simply had to see more soft-lit pictures of people kissing in swathes of wildflowers.

I should be clear, I'm not talking about porn porn, I'm talking about something else. Something I will dub "PrettyPorn."

Here are some of the things that figure largely in PrettyPorn: scanned Polaroids of cozy-looking disheveled beds; charmingly messy dinner tables post-dinner;high quality jpegs of romantic braided hair; skinny women's pale backs; cats; cups of tea/wine; fields of wildflowers. Lot's of French things.

PrettyPorn consists of the seemingly endless chain of blogs where dreamy young things post photos and notes (and poems!) about the things they think are beautiful. It's an ongoing love affair with an aesthetic based on fragility, beauty, and romance. Everything is lovely, everyone is consumptive, and I am fucking eating it up.

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I spent three hours alone on Una Bella Vita (subtitle: "Beauty, Poetry, Romance, Love, These Are What We Stay Alive For"). From there I disappeared into the black hole of Rags and Scribbles. There's also Le Love, which is pretty much just photos of people kissing. Blog after blog, link after link, I find myself totally ensorcelled by these charmingly emotional bon vivants, even though they occasionally wander into the gleaming tide pools of narcissism -- how many times can a girl post a picture of herself?

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But pay that no mind. Look! Isn't that coffee table adorable? Wouldn't my bedroom look better if I painted it that lovely shade of grey? I must go out and find a chipped teacup to keep my keys in, just like that!

When I tire of looking for ways to make my apartment more femme and less fatale, I could meander over to Bread and Honey , where two Portland moms like to bake and take pretty photos of their finished products. Suddenly I want to wear a calico apron that I sewed myself and bake apple crumbles that I can let cool on my windowsill.

That's the danger of PrettyPorn -- it could be anything. It could be about baking, or interior decorating, textile design, fashion or photography. As long as there are dreamy white people floating through, alighting their fairy fingers here and there, bringing puppies curled up on couches, fetchingly clunky gold dangly necklaces, pretending every day is a hazy Sunday afternoon, it shall be known as PrettyPorn.

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Prettyporn is like looking at the blog version of an Iron and Wine song: all the hushed melodies and whispered incantations coming together to form the dulcet tones of a very quiet orgy of whimsy. Amelie is the patron saint of PrettyPorn --three blogs I've gotten addicted to have MP3 features which played the soundtrack on repeat. Every high res photo could come from a Sofia Coppola feature. You too could have an apartment with an aesthetic that matches Kiki Dunst's hair in "The Virgin Suicides"!


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Someone must stop me. If this continues, I'm going to end up lounging around in a bed made of Polaroids, buy a wig so I can braid my long blonde hair all day while I sip tea out of a wabi sabi homemade ceramic mug with my cats Wordsworth and Henrietta.

Until then, here are some of my favorite PrettyPorn sites. Beware! You might never come out.

Una Bella Vita

The Cherry Blossom Girl

Rags and Scribbles

Bread and Honey

Lena Corwin

Le Love

Every Little Counts

My Love For You Is A Stampede Of Horses

The Tea Drinking English Rose

Photo Credits: Front Page: thecherryblossomgirl.com, Post: imdb.com Una Bella Vita, Lena Corwin